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January 30, 2024

Report: Flyers' Carter Hart ordered to surrender to London police, face charges of sexual assault

Flyers goaltender Carter Hart is one of the former players from the 2018 Canadian World Junior team who have been ordered to surrender to London police regarding the Hockey Canada sexual assault investigation, per TSN.

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Carter-Hart-Flyers-Goaltender-11.15.2023-NHL.jpg James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports

Carter Hart was the leading goaltender of the 2018 Canadian World Junior team.

UPDATE [7:23 p.m. ET] – Hart has been charged with one count of sexual assault, his attorneys Megan Savard and Riaz Sayani of the Canadian defense firm Savard Foy confirmed. 

"[Hart] is innocent and will provide a full response to this false allegation in the proper forum, a court of law," read a statement released by the firm Tuesday evening. "Until then, we have no comment."

DubéMcLeod, and Foote have been charged with sexual assault as well, per statements released by their respective lawyers. 


Flyers goaltender Carter Hart is one of the former players from the 2018 Canadian World Junior team who has been ordered to surrender to the London, Ontario police to face charges connected to an alleged June 2018 sexual assault, TSN's Rick Westhead reports

Calgary Flames forward Dillon Dubé and New Jersey Devils defenseman Cal Foote and forward Michael McLeod were also confirmed by TSN as the current NHL and former Canadian World Junior players who have been told to turn themselves in after Ottawa Senators reserve player Alex Formenton had already done so on Sunday, per The Globe and Mail's Robyn Doolittle.

Hart, 25, was granted a sudden and indefinite leave of absence from the Flyers for "personal reasonslast Tuesday, just hours before the team's home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning and a day before general manager Danny Brière was already scheduled to meet with the media regarding plans for the upcoming NHL trade deadline. 

The next morning, a report by Doolittle for The Globe and Mail in Canada was published, revealing that five unnamed players from the 2018 Canadian World Junior team had been ordered to surrender to the London police regarding the re-opened investigation into a 2018 sexual assault case that had been lingering over the NHL and hockey world at large for the past two years. 

Along with Hart, Dubé was granted an indefinite leave of absence two days prior for what the Flames cited as mental health reasons. Then last Wednesday, after The Globe and Mail report published, Foote and McLeod were given indefinite leaves from the Devils, while Formenton, who isn't currently in the NHL, was also given a leave by his pro club in Switzerland for the purposes of returning home to Canada

Neither organization offered any further comment on its respective player's situation, but the timing was highly concerning. 

"We are aware of this morning's press reports of a very serious matter," Brière said in a prepared statement last Wednesday morning. "We will respond appropriately when the outcomes of the investigations are made public. The NHL has been very clear that teams should refer all investigation-related questions to them. 

"In the meantime, members of the organization, including Flyers players, will not be commenting any further."

In April 2022, a woman filed a lawsuit against the junior-level Canadian Hockey League, Hockey Canada (the country's governing body for the sport), and eight unnamed CHL players whom she alleged she was sexually assaulted by during a two-day Hockey Canada-run event in London, Ontario that was held in June 2018. 

The suit was dropped for a settlement just over a month later in May 2022, but captured headlines across North America, brought Hockey Canada under heavy scrutiny and drastic changes in leadership, and led to investigations into the alleged incident by the NHL, a third party hired by Hockey Canada, and a re-opened one by the London police after the department reviewed its initial criminal case file that ended with no charges being levied.

Those investigations, however, proceeded slowly and went with few updates for months, though London police investigators did find that they had reasonable grounds to believe that five members of the 2018 Canadian World Junior team were involved in the alleged sexual assault in June 2018, per an Ontario court filing obtained by The Athletic in December 2022.

At the outset of the investigations, various players who were on the 2018 Canadian Junior team issued statements – either through themselves, their agents, or their legal representation – verifying either that they weren't in London for the event when the alleged assault occurred, were at the event but weren't involved and had no knowledge of it, or were at the event but denied engagement in "any wrongdoing."

Hart fell into that third category, and offered no comment answers on the matter other than that he was cooperating with the NHL's investigation specifically when asked by the local media at the start of Flyers training camp in September 2022 and then 2023. 

Hart started 25 games for the Flyers this season, going 12-9-3 with a .906 save percentage. He looked off in his last game against Colorado on January 20, however, allowing five goals on 15 shots faced, and was pulled in the third period for No. 2 goaltender Samuel Ersson. 

A couple of days later, Hart wasn't present for the team's morning skate in Voorhees ahead of its game later that night against Tampa Bay.

The organization announced his indefinite leave of absence a few hours later.

The London police, last Wednesday, said it expects to hold a press conference on Monday, February 5 regarding the status of its investigation.

This is a developing story.

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